Sadio Mane flop at Bayern Munich explained & why a Joao Cancelo-Joshua Kimmich transfer could benefit everyone

Sadio Mane Joshua Kimmich Joao Cancelo
Sadio Mane has flopped at Bayern Munich on the back of his 2022 transfer from Liverpool, with Dietmar Hamann explaining to GOAL what has gone wrong.

The Senegalese forward opted to leave Anfield after six memorable years on Merseyside that delivered 120 goals to go alongside Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup winners’ medals. Big things were expected of him in Germany, but the 31-year-old has struggled to find a spark and has made as many headlines for displays of petulance as he has match-altering performances.

Former Bayern star Hamann has cast an eye over what has gone wrong for Mane at the Allianz Arena, while also discussing whether Joao Cancelo may yet have a future with the Bundesliga champions – as a swap deal involving Joshua Kimmich and Manchester City is speculated on – while also discussing the hunt for a new No.9 to fill Robert Lewandowski’s boots in Bavaria.

  1. What went wrong?
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    What went wrong?

    Hamann, speaking in association with Casinos En Ligne, told GOAL when asked why it has not worked out for Mane at Bayern: “If you looked at Liverpool before the World Cup, they were pretty flat – they looked like an exhausted team. I think it was a similar story with Mane. He did okay in the first few games, scored a few goals, but he didn’t reach the heights and wasn’t as dominant in Munich as he was in Liverpool. Then he got the injury that kept him out of the World Cup. There were disciplinary issues – he had a go at the manager after not playing more than eight or nine minutes in the return leg against Paris – and when you come to a new club you have to earn the respect of your team-mates. Without your team-mates, you won’t succeed.”

  2. Big mistake
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    Big mistake

    Hamann went on to say of Mane seemingly edging his way towards the exits in Munich after just one forgettable campaign that will see him written off as a serious flop: “I always thought he was a very humble and kind man – does a lot for his home country, builds schools etc – but in Munich it wasn’t the case. He came to Munich and maybe thought ‘I’ve done this at Liverpool, qualified for the World Cup, I’m African Footballer of the Year and I’m doing my thing’. It doesn’t work like that. Then he had the physical fight with Sane after the first leg in Manchester and I think this is when the whole team and the whole club lost respect for him. His time will come to an end. I thought he would be a brilliant signing because Munich produced world class players in the past but never really signed one. Now in Mane they signed one, but it probably goes down as one of the biggest mistakes in Bayern’s and German football’s history.”

  3. Slow start
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    Slow start

    Cancelo has been another high-profile addition at Bayern in the 2022-23 campaign, with a short-term loan agreed for the versatile Portugal international in January. The 28-year-old endured a tough start to life in Germany, with doubts cast as to whether a €70 million (£61m/$75m) purchase option will be taken up, but he has been catching the eye of late.

    Hamann said of that deal: “He came and then the manager said that the way they play, he can’t really play in that system. I’m thinking, you should have spoken to the director of football before that. You can’t bring in a player of his quality and not play him, he’s got to play and you have to find a place for him. If you haven’t got a place for him, don’t bring him to the club. Obviously the manager left then and he plays more regularly now and he’s probably been the brightest spark in the last two or three games. He was brilliant against Leipzig, even though they lost, but I think the fee will be too high. They are talking about a swap deal with Kimmich. I think there is a chance that Bayern Munich will let Kimmich go. I would think about it. But then it’s a lot of money for a full-back. But he has been one of the few success stories at Bayern in the last few weeks.”

  4. Trade agreement

    Trade agreement

    Hamann added on whether a trade agreement involving Cancelo and Kimmich would be beneficial to all concerned: “One club, probably Bayern Munich, would want a few quid on top. Whether City are prepared to pay that, I don’t know. Cancelo, everyone knows there is probably no way he is going to play for City again if Pep Guardiola stays. His price will come down and Kimmich is a very capable player. I’m not his biggest fan because I don’t think he’s a holding or a defensive midfielder. I could see him in City’s team because he’s technically very gifted and it’s the role that Ilkay Gundogan plays – he will come to an end at some time. I’m not sure he gets the goals that Gundogan does. City are so dominant and have so much possession, I think he could play that role a lot better for City than he could do at Munich.”

  5. Recruitment drive
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    Recruitment drive

    While Bayern may decide to mix things up in defence and midfield this summer, another proven goalscorer is considered to be their top priority for the next transfer window. Several prolific marksmen have seen moves to Munich speculated on – such as Tottenham talisman Harry Kane, Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen and Eintract Frankfurt star Randal Kolo Muani.

    Hamann said of Bayern’s recruitment plans: “They have spent a lot of money in the past. They always say it’s hard to compete with the English clubs and then Matthijs de Ligt comes in for 80m, Mane for 30m, they bought Lucas Hernandez for 80m not long ago. They have got two managers to pay at the moment – if Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t get another job, they have to pay him. I’m not sure how much money they have got. But they need a No.9.”

  6. Striker hunt
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    Striker hunt

    The ex-Germany international, who began his career at Bayern, added on the hunt for a new No.9: “They say that Osimhen is probably too expensive, they talk about Kolo Muani – he is probably the logical option. Then you need to see who leaves. Konrad Laimer is coming on a free from Leipzig. They all hope that Manuel Neuer comes back in the summer. Then you need to see what happens in midfield because that’s where they fell short. Ryan Gravenberch hardly played, I don’t think Kimmich is a No.6 and Leon Goretzka has been a huge disappointment this season – he has gone backwards in a big way. It will be an interesting summer.”